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Lynette M. Daly and Michael Daly, v State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Nick & Jimmy's Bar & Grill, Debra G Inc. and Ernest J. Johnson

Case Caption: Lynette M. Daly and Michael Daly, v State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Nick & Jimmy's Bar & Grill, Debra G Inc. and Ernest J. Johnson, Case No. CI-08-6119, In The Court of Common Pleas Lucas County, State of Ohio

Verdict: Defense verdict

Judge: Ruth Ann Franks

Date of Verdict: 12/16/09


Plaintiff: D. Lee Johnson, Toledo, OH

Jared M. Schmidt, Toledo, OH

Defendant:Russell W. Porritt II, Toledo, OH for Ernie Johnson

John Kuhl, Toledo, OH for Nick & Jimmy's

Facts: Defendant Ernest (“Ernie”) J. Johnson, was employed as a bartender at Nick & Jimmy's. Everyone knew Ernie had no driver's license due to a drinking and driving conviction. Nonetheless, one of the bar owners often let him drive his Nissan pickup truck.

On the day of the MVA, Ernie had been drinking excessively at the bar while not working. He took the keys to the Nissan without asking and left the premises in the Nissan. Johnson rearended Plaintiffs van causing damage to the Nissans bumper with minor damage to Plaintiffs Caravan. Johnson fled the scene.

Plaintiff's vehicle was drivable as she drove to the police station to make out a report. The next day she went to the urgent care clinic with pain in her joints and low back pain, the doctor put a cast on her thumb with concern of it being broken, but it was not. Plaintiff eventually saw Drs.Sullivan, James and Bassett where x-rays and MRI's were conducted concerning her continuing complaints of pain. She also treated with a Chiropractor, Mickey Frame, on a regular basis.

Ernie fled the state of Ohio, did not cooperate in his defense and did not appear at trial. No proofs were presented in defense of negligent driving on his part, and PA obtained an anticipated directed verdict in this regard. The case was defended on the basis that the collision was so minor Plaintiff had not been injured or, if she was, the injuries were so minor that she had recovered within just a few days of the MVA. She admitted to going to Pilates classes five days post-MVA, but claimed her neck and back bothered her. She claimed she continued to suffer from pain and problems from the accident. Chiropractor Frame testified live at trial in support of her injuries and treatment.

Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff was a women married to a police officer driving a Caravan during time of accident.

Alleged Injury:Soft tissue neck and back pain, left shoulder pain, and injured thumb requiring a spica case. Plaintiff had $25,000 in medical and chiropractic bills.

Settlement Efforts:Last Demand: $50,000

Last Offer: $5,000

Insurance Carrier: Auto-Owners Insurance Company

Case Status: Case Closed

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